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Hostage situation in Paris, suspect arrested after 4 hours

A four-hour hostage standoff in central Paris ended with police moving in, arresting the armed suspect and freeing the people held in a ground-floor office, France's interior minister announced late Tuesday.

"All the hostages are safe and sound," Gerard Collomb said in a brief statement. At least two people had been held.

There was no indication of an extremist motive, police said.

The Paris prosecutor's office detained the suspect, a 26-year-old man born in Morocco, a judicial official said. It was not immediately clear if he had French nationality.

The man is being investigated on multiple counts, including kidnapping and sequestration, attempted homicide and violence with a weapon, the official said. The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and asked not to be named.

Two hostages were freed, one who reportedly had been doused with gasoline and threatened by the hostage-taker with being set on fire, French TV news stations BFM-TV and CNews reported.

Authorities provided no details of the raid by specially trained intervention police officers four hours after the hostage-taking began at about 4 p.m.

Before the arrest, police and firefighters sent a water-spraying robot into the building, Le Parisien newspaper reported.

Before officers moved in, Lefebvre said a third hostage had been freed. That hostage was also reportedly doused with gasoline and hit in the face, he said.

Paris police have not revealed how many people were taken hostage.


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